We have no trouble expressing our thoughts to our kids when we want them to understand something or to our colleagues when we want to share ideas. But when speaking in front of people we hardly know, we might find ourselves feeling like we’re about to have a heart attack!
Public speaking is not for everyone, but there are times that you just have to do it. Whether you are asked to present your business idea in front of an audience or share your thoughts in a school conference, here are some tips that can help you deliver your message effectively while still being composed:
1. Do a quick brainstorm.
Select one strong message that you want to share, then think of how you’ll introduce and close the idea. By doing so, you’ll have a quick opening, body and closing for your speech.
2. Speak slowly.
Take your time when you talk. Doing it fast will just make you feel more unsure and nervous. Breath deeply and remember to pause when needed.
3. Stand tall.
Put weight on both your feet, straighten your back and relax your shoulders. This will help you feel and be more confident and carry your message clearly.
4. Make it more personal.
Try to apply a personal perspective to your message. This well help the audience see you as a real person and it gives you credibility to tackle that topic.
5. Forget about yourself for a while.
We get so nervous with the idea of speaking in front of people, thinking that we might make a fool of ourselves. Forget about yourself for a while. As public speaker and author of What’s Your Life’s Masterpiece, Marianne Mencias shares, “public speaking becomes so much easier when you forget about yourself and think fully about the audience you’re called to serve and love.” For a change, think first about your audience and how your message can inform and help them.
6. Do not apologize if your mind goes blank.
If you do say sorry when you forget what to say, everyone will feel your uneasiness. Instead, go back to your strong point and carry on.
7. Keep it simple.
Making it simple and on point will make the audience listen and appreciate your speech (and thank you for letting them learn something and not waste their time!) Smile and say thank you to your audience when you’re done.
You might not be an Oprah or a Tony Robbins when speaking in public, but keeping these points in mind may help you in delivering talks efficiently.